Devil's Plantation - Elemental Films

trip thirty three: emminently triangular

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  • bill - 20 August 13 - Reply

    Saw the movie at the Bafta screening and enjoyed it. The static monochrome images were complemented by the narration.
    I live in Eaglesham and the views from the trig point on the windfarm show vast tracks of the country. High points in a landscape give a reference and trying to relate settlements and routes to them fits in with the human need to see patterns to make sense of the world. Look beyond the Ben Lomond – Tinto Hill – Secret Place, and consider Cairnpapple – Arthur’s Seat – Trapain. Perhaps there are constellations on the planets surface…

    • May Miles Thomas - 21 August 13 - Reply

      Many thanks, Bill – thanks for taking the time to come along to the screening. I envy you the views you get in Eaglesham. When I first visited the Deil’s Plantin (Bonnyton Mound) I was thrilled to see – as Harry Bell described – the view across the city to Duncolm. During my travels on the project, I often felt Harry perhaps overlooked a few sights. I don’t know if you’re aware of his other book, Forgotten Footsteps, but in it he goes on to hypothesise about a Scotland-wide network of aligned sites, citing Stirling Castle and Arthur’s Seat among them.

      Best wishes,
      May

  • Tam McGarvey - 5 April 12 - Reply

    Hi May. I was talking to Michael Wood when he was in Govan, I might even feature in the programme if I don’t get edited oot! he visited the GalGael Trust where I am working at the moment.
    We had a lovely wee ceremony last week in the Riverside Community to comemorate Doomster Hill. There was about forty or fifty folk from various local organisations and some folk from the neighbourhood. We lit a fire beacon, had a piper and read out a script as well as singing a few songs, it was great fun.
    I have been using google earth to get my lines so I haven’t been as intrepid as Harry and yourself though I have visited most of the sites at some point. I might be doing a short talk in Edinburgh next month on my thoughts on navigation in the Dark Ages, (I will be totally busking it to be honest) I will certainly mention your film if that is okay. Take care. Tam.

  • May Miles Thomas - 5 April 12 - Reply

    Hi Tam,

    Thanks for your lovely comment. I agree Doomster Hill should be on the list but I think Harry maybe missed out on a few locations on his travels. Michael Wood (the TV historian) is currently making a documentary series on ancient sites in the UK and Doomster Hill/Govan will feature in one of the episodes so watch out for that.

    All the best,
    May

  • Tam McGarvey - 5 April 12 - Reply

    Hi May, love the project and the footage is stunning. I have so many connections with all of this. i was brought up in Leithland Rd with Devol Crescent just over my back fence. I now live in the Cathkin Braes. I did a project on Walls hill when I was at Art school. I know the Minister at Govan Old and visit the site regularly.
    I am coincidentally looking at how the Strathclyde Britons would have mapped their territory and I also came up with some of the same lines as well as a few others. I am sure they would have signalled to each other from some of these high points and would use them for navigational and cermonial reasons.
    I came across Harry Bell’s work a few years ago and thought it fascinating.
    Doomster Hill which once stood at the centre of Govan would surely have been part of this network. Keep up the good work. Tam.

  • Graeme Ward - 3 July 11 - Reply

    Hello again May

    You refer to “atmsophere or energy” that cannot be explained. Have you read any T.C. Lethbridge books? Most if not all are out of print but you should be able to get the Essential T.C. Lethbridge. I sure you would enjoy his style of writing.

    Numerology – I am a number six! My name adds up to 33 (3 +3 =6), I was born on the 15 (1 + 5 =6), Honest I am not a hippy – Never Trust a Hippy (or a M.P. for that mattter) Graeme

  • May Miles Thomas - 30 October 10 - Reply

    To anyone reading this page, I apologise for the dud link to the GNAS page. For some reason it’s no longer active.

    When I started out on this project, I tried to contact whoever was running it. I got no reply. I assumed it was maybe Harry Bell’s son who set it up. It’s a shame because I believe many people are interested in Harry’s work – I first came across his writing in 2000 and was captivated by his quest, but it took almost ten years – and almost three years of my own life – to pay tribute to his unique take on the city of Glasgow.

    In that respect, Harry Bell lives on…

  • GBS - 17 November 09 - Reply

    Cheers May, Keep seeking and I’ll let you know how I get on.

    Gary.

  • May Miles Thomas - 17 November 09 - Reply

    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for that. No, you’re not a nutter – I do get it! I made three trips up to the hill over the last few months, two by walking from Hardgate/Cochno end up the track that runs by the Humphrey Burn up towards Greenhill Reservoir. The other trip I made was up the path near Bowling cutting under the underpass. On all three occasions I carried my tripod, video camera, stills camera and a heavy rucksack with batteries, tapes, torch, flask of tea and sandwiches. I’m sure people must have thought I was mad. And to prove this you can see two of the short video pieces I made on the Devil’s Plantation website proper!

    Good luck with the script!
    all the best,
    May

  • GBS - 17 November 09 - Reply

    Hi May, I stumbled across your website when I was looking for more information on Duncolm. I am currently writing a script that features the magnificent hill and took a research trip up there from my home in Old Kilpatrick on Friday.

    If you haven’t seen it already, I would strongly advise you go as soon as you can. It’s hard to explain… (and I am not a nutter!) but you see more than a nice view on reaching the summit. It certainly afforded me what I required and it must have some pull because it’s certainly not the first time i’ve ventured there.

    I’ve tried to explain to my wife and pals that there was no better way to spend a day off work than getting soaked through, walking up a very steep hill. But by the sound of it – I think you’d get it…. Anyway enough of my blethering! If you are to venture up, the easiest way is to park at the foot of Loch Humphrey and walk up the path of the same name – far easier than your previous route and the climb can be done in half the time.

    All the best

    Gary.

  • May Miles Thomas - 10 November 09 - Reply

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the comments.

    You didn’t say where in Glasgow you come from, but I’m guessing you’re from the southside. What you say about Harry’s lines going through your house is pretty much the same experience I had – I’m from Pollok and the line from Crookston Castle went through our house.

    I’m sure there are a lot of Harry Bell fans out there, so I’m glad if I’ve put some new life into his work and who knows, keep it alive in some way,

    Keep in touch
    May

  • Paul G - 9 November 09 - Reply

    thanks very much for this site,i first found footage of harrys work 9 years ago and it changed my views of glasgow overnite.
    I dont get much time to follow Harrys footsteps but love reading about his work.
    Harry mensions in one of his books that there was a strong “FEELING”or presance at one of his sights .
    I grew up in a housing estate in glasgow and near a untouched piece of land that i always regarded as my back garden and from a very young age always new that the place had a strong presance,so it was amazing to find all these years later that it lies directly on one of Harrys lines,its on high ground and to my amazment on my one and only outing at the weekend to drumduff hill that this very small hill in the middle of Glasgow stood out easily.
    i have a lot more work to do on this matter and will keep you posted if interested.
    PS. i also remember an old community bulliten that told how our scheme was built near a series of mud huts that could be found all the way to paisley from glasgow sited on a straight line at an exact distance.
    Hopefully the top of this hill is full of iron age treasure and i become very rich!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

  • May Miles Thomas - 23 October 09 - Reply

    Intrigued by this one – you say a triangle – if you email me direct then maybe I can help you with this. Also a grid ref for the De’il’s Wood would be useful.

    Cheers,
    May

  • saint - 23 October 09 - Reply

    could it be harry new about templer connection . in deils wood .(just a thought, triangle theory.)

  • May Miles Thomas - 23 August 09 - Reply

    Thanks for that. Your axe head must have been a real find. It’s incredible to think that these neolithic artefacts still turn up. I’ll need to check out the location for myself. Are you still out detecting? I’d like to hear more. You can email me direct at may@elementalfilms.co.uk

  • saint - 23 August 09 - Reply

    heres another place for you, old army camp holmbyre farm about 100 yards west of old ww11 watch tower about a decade ago i found, detecting again a stone age axe head dated by kelvingrove as 5 to 8 thousand years old of such fine workmanship it was reckond to be a sacrifise for the next world because some one close to person has died , i know from a log and i know now that that high part of land was a settlement the deafening silence that was there at the time may be gone now as there is a paint ball area close by

  • May Miles Thomas - 30 July 09 - Reply

    Thanks Hugh,

    I’m so glad you enjoy my writing. As you can see, I’ve just put up an update and the project’s still on course. I’ll keep you posted…

    all the best,
    May

  • hugh beattie - 30 July 09 - Reply

    hi

    you are such a great writer.I trust this will not be the end of this journey. I have loved everything on the devils plantation……..& also it made me realise that all these feelings & observations I have about the area are deep rooted within us.

    I have been all through europe & asia in my teens getting to katmandu, but everything within a 1 hour journey of clydebank is way up there.

  • May Miles Thomas - 25 June 09 - Reply

    Anyone following my travels will be rewarded in the coming months. I’m editing over two years of footage into a series of chapters that will unravel and become what I hope will be a new and fascinating piece of storytelling.

    If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog, please add a wee word or two here to let the SAC know that this piece of work is worth your time,

    Best wishes,
    May

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